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When public transport becomes a problem for the environment


Author Message
Written on: 17 August 2010 [23:19]
ecoadmin
Administrator
Topic creator
registered since: 20.07.2007
Posts: 586
Hi all,
The other day I came across an interesting article in a newspaper. The author presented therein a book which describes the negative effects of affordable public transport systems on the environment. In general public transport is regarded as a very eco-friendly way of traveling. If such a system or network is made available to the public at a very good price and is additionally very on-time, clean and operates with high frequency, it becomes quickly the No 1 choice for commuters. The result: they leave their car at home and take the public transport instead. A good decision! The whole story has a downside though. The author of the book sees as a major downside of such attractive public transport solutions the uncontrolled housing development in well connected areas. And he's right in my opinion. BTW, the country we are talking about here is Switzerland. The public transport system is so good and convenient that people commute every day between larger cities with traveling times of up to 2 hours each way. To use the car for such trips is really a no-brainer because it would be too expensive and you would never really know when you arrive because of traffic jams. The price of the train ticket is much lower than the real cost of the transport and fuels this way the urban sprawl. And on top someone else (the taxpayers) have to pay for those who elect to do the daily (extended) commute with the train. I know, Switzerland is probably one of the few countries with such excellent public transport solutions and the problems associated with it. But the main point here is that transportation should not be sold at a level below the real price. Whether it's happening in the air, road or on the railroad tracks. Just wanted to get this off my chest.... icon_smile.gif Any comments to that? Have you made similar observations?

Written on: 19 August 2010 [00:57]
iamian
registered since: 23.02.2009
Posts: 110
I think public transportation systems can be allot more efficient from point A to point B ... but this article does bring up the other side of it ... generally people are willing to pay __% of their income on transportation ... cheap transportation usually means they travel further... not the same distance and spend less.

I think the ultimate option would be tele-commuting ... then you could be pretty much anywhere in the world , and it costs incredibly little energy to go to work ... people wouldn't have to cram themselves into tight little spaces ... they can live anywhere they like ... but my job like allot of people can't do that.






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